The Quebec government announced it would provide $6.2 million to the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service (AMPS) to combat illegal firearm trafficking.
“Today’s announcement shows the willingness of the Quebec Government to work in partnership with First Nation policing, and especially with AMPS. We’ve come a long way in the last few years, and in terms of a police department here and as First Nations policing as a whole in the province,” said AMPS chief of police Shawn Dulude.
The Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne straddles Quebec, Ontario and New York state along the St Lawrence River, making its waterways appealing to gun smugglers from the U.S.
This money will provide five additional AMPS officers, a new boat, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles, allowing police to patrol the river 24/7.
The cash is part of Quebec’s $90 million crackdown on gun violence, dubbed “Operation Centaur.”
“AMPS is part of a bigger picture in terms of gun investigations and because of the gun situation in Ottawa, in Montreal, in different streets in our country, we’ve been asked to take part in a broader investigation. This has been ongoing since last fall,” he said.
AMPS is mainly providing intelligence gathering to the investigating team made up of the RCMP, Montreal Police, Longueuil Police Department and Laval Police Department.
Dulude could not provide the number of weapons that cross over into Canada illegally through Akwesasne, but said that AMPS has seized 132 weapons and made 8 arrests related to gun violence “so far.”